Jesus shows us that meekness is not a mere contemplative virtue; it is maintaining peace and patience in the midst of pelting provocations. In II Corinthians Paul realizes that the meek and gentle approach can easily appear as weakness to those unfamiliar with Jesus' example, so he calls it "the meekness . . . of Christ." True meekness is always measured by Christ's meekness. His humility, patience, and total submission of His own will to the will of the Father exemplifies meekness.
Martin G. Collins
Christ's words sound like He speaks of His return because of His reference to “coming on the clouds.” Scripture contains abundant references to Christ's return on or with clouds (Matthew 24:30; Mark 13:26; Luke 21:27; I Thessalonians 4:17; Revelation 1:7), and His words at His trial seem to match them.
If so, it would mean that these specific leaders [“you”] would see Christ coming on the clouds of heaven. His words would pose a significant challenge if He were prophesying of His return because they indicate that these same Jewish leaders will be resurrected at His second coming. Scripturally, that is a rather difficult case to make. God will resurrect only those who are Christ's at His return, but the leaders to whom He was speaking were resisting Him with everything they had! So, either Christ's audience on that fateful night will be resurrected at His return, or this interpretation is wanting.
Verse 64 contains a few words to note. First, “hereafter” is a reasonable translation, but several Bible versions instead use the phrase, “from now on.” This latter translation suggests an event or condition that begins shortly, almost immediately.
Second, Jesus says that His audience would “see” the Son of Man. The Greek word optomai typically means “to perceive with the eyes,” indicating physical sight. However, Greek contains an exception to this meaning: When the word depicts seeing something in the future, the meaning is “to comprehend” (see The Companion Bible, Ap. 133. I. 8. a).
For example, Luke 3:6 says, “. . . all flesh shall see the salvation of God” (emphasis ours throughout). Salvation is not seen with the eyes but comprehended with the mind. Similarly, Romans 15:21 uses optomai for a future event in which it is paralleled with understanding: “. . . but as it is written: 'To whom He was not announced, they shall see; and those who have not heard shall understand.'” Jesus says in Matthew 26:64 that, “from now on,” His audience would comprehend or understand or know “the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power.”
Third, in verse 64 is the word “coming,” which means “arriving at a location.” Notice, though, that no location is specified. It is logical to assume this refers to His return to earth, as other verses do, but the Bible also shows another arrival, which we will see.
Christ's declaration to the Jewish leadership comes from two passages. The first is Psalm 110:1, in which David writes, “The LORD said to my Lord, 'Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool.'” By referring to Himself as sitting at the right hand of the Eternal, Christ claimed this Messianic psalm. Understandably, this made the blood of the chief priests, the elders, and the council boil!
Moreover, applying Psalm 110:1 to Himself implies that His present adversaries were the enemies the psalm mentions. So, not only were the Jewish leaders the Messiah's enemies, but they also would become His footstool! In response, the high priest tore his clothes—which God had forbidden him to do in Leviticus 21:10.
Christ's legitimate boldness does not end there. He also drew upon Daniel 7:13-14:
I was watching in the night visions, and behold, One like the Son of Man, coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom the one which shall not be destroyed.
The prophet exactly describes what Christ says about the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven. Notice, though, that this vision is not about Christ coming to earth but to the Ancient of Days!
This vision, then, answers the question of location in Matthew 26:64. During His trial, Jesus was not talking about coming back to earth but arriving before the Father in heaven. Once He came to the Ancient of Days, He would receive dominion, glory, and a Kingdom. When Jesus told the Jewish leadership that, from now on, they would comprehend Him sitting at the right hand of the Power and coming on the clouds, they caught His reference to this prophecy and His claim to be the Messiah, the Heir of the Kingdom.
David C. Grabbe
Dominion and Glory and a Kingdom